We live in a global world connected by invisible strings through the internet. Today’s professionals have to have a number of updated skills from their counterparts just 20 or 40 years ago. The way we communicate and conduct business has changed completely so it makes sense that our skills should evolve as well.

Soft skills are considered behavioral traits that are valuable for professionals but typically not learned, unlike hard skills.

What are the top 4 soft skills every employee needs to have in 2015 and beyond?

Communication Skills

New job candidates are coming into the workplace with a big red flag that may be unfounded, but still a concern. With the advent of internet communications, such as twitter and texting, many people are no longer demonstrating proper grammar and spelling in situations that should be professional. If you want to stand out among your peers, pay special attention to your written and verbal communications skills.

Information Literacy

Another important skill in this information age is the ability to read and disseminate the information needed to complete a task. That is to say you have the ability to determine when new information is needed, where to find it, evaluate it, and use it appropriately. This goes beyond just search engines and into the realm of critical thinking.

Situational Awareness

This is a military concept but can be applied to anyone. It is important to know what is going on around you so you can act accordingly. When you’re in a new situation it is critical that you can assess the environment, the other people, and what is happening so your response can be appropriate for the activity. This prevents panic and helps reduce stress.

Complex Problem Solving

Finally, if candidates want to set themselves apart from their competition they need to demonstrate their complex problem solving abilities. It is one thing to be able to follow directions but another to use information to determine the best course of action even if it seems at odds with the established procedures. You need to be able to see all sides of a problem and determine the best way to get to the solution, not just the fastest.


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